Reporting on Climate Action at the UN Summit

Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects some form of ‘deal’ to be signed at COP21 in Paris, but it will not be a top-down grand bargain on long-term emission reductions, nor will it create a global framework to price carbon. Instead, the Paris deal will likely resemble the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions put forward by each country under the Cancun Agreements.
Political and business leaders gathered in New York for ‘Climate Week’ (22-26 September), and a flurry of initiatives and announcements was launched alongside the official programme organised by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. This is a summary of the outcomes of the meeting and outlook for global climate action and the international negotiations.

There were no major ‘breakthrough’ moments in New York, but also no acrimony or notable spats between governments either.
The UNFCCC timetable for a new global pact to be finalised in Paris at the end of next year remains intact, and a number of countries reiterated their intention to announce post-2020 emission-reduction targets before the end of Q1 2015.
Several governments alluded to their 2030 targets (or ‘nationally determined contribution’ (NDC) in UN speak).
Most significantly, China suggested that it may be willing to take on a firm target, after Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said that the country’s emissions need to peak “as early as possible”.
France led the climate finance discussion by pledging $1bn to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), while other countries pledged smaller sums.
Further pledges will be made later this year when the GCF holds its first ‘pledging conference’ in November.
The fossil fuel industry came under particular scrutiny. Some companies unveiled plans to phase out fossil-fuel use. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which has assets of $860m and is separate from the larger Rockefeller Foundation, will assess how to cut other fossil fuel investments while boosting renewable energy companies.

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UN Climate Summit Webpage